Are You an Ant or a Crab?

Are you sensitive to what others say about you?  We all say we are independent, but are we really?  Have you ever had a unique thought, started to share it, and then decided to keep quiet for fear of others mocking you?  Later, you may have heard that same thought given a warm reception and kicked yourself for not being bolder.

Try this one on.  Have you ever thought you could make a living doing something you really like?  You know, quit that job and start a business?  Write a novel in your spare time?  Invest your savings wisely and eventually live off the returns?

Each of us has a picture of a better life.  It is not that we are necessarily dissatisfied with what we have.  Part of wisdom is being thankful for the present.  Another, often forgotten, part of wisdom is recognizing that we are creatures of progress.  Research into human happiness shows that passive pleasure is not the source of real fulfillment.  Rather it is engagement in a meaningful challenge.

We are also social creatures, and that makes us want to share our dreams with others.  But what happens when we do?  Often, those people we number among our friends are scared to death.  They are so locked into thinking that their jobs are the only way to survive financially that they block out any suggestion to the contrary.  Bad enough that they do that to themselves.  The truly criminal part is dragging others down.  They are crabs.

I was raised in Western Kentucky and so know little about crabs.  However, friends who live closer to the ocean tell me that any number of them may be kept in an open pot after they are caught.  That is, any number except one.  Turns out that if you put only one crab in, he will climb out.  Put one or two others in, and they will drag the potential escapee back down.

Here is another interesting fact from the animal world.  Ants, when the colony needs to cross a small divide, will build an “ant bridge.”  They will interlock limbs, forming a structure that others can use to cross.  When you are ready to live your dream, whatever that may be, remember that some people are crabs and some are ants.  I only share my dreams with the ants.

–Terry likes people who support and encourage others.  He hopes that if you have to admit that deep down you are a crab, you start learning from the ants.


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